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A "prolapse" means that a body part has slipped forward or down from where it should be. The rectum is a tube at the end of the colon. At the end of the rectum is the anus, which is the opening where stool leaves the body.
A rectal prolapse happens when part or all of the wall of the rectum slides out of place, sticking out of the anus. It may be a partial prolapse, where only part of the lining of the rectum slips out of the anus. Or it may be a complete prolapse, where the entire wall of the rectum slips out.
Many things increase your chance of having a rectal prolapse. Risk factors include:
Your doctor may have found the problem after asking questions about your symptoms and doing a rectal examination. Home treatment often helps the problem. Some people may need surgery.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: April 15, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Christopher G. Wood MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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